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View Diary: Daily Kos Elections Live Digest: 3/17 (259 comments)

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  •  Opportunities for Dems in NYS Senate (9+ / 0-)

    Republican Charles Fuschillo announced his resignation from the 8th District in late December. It's becoming a hotly contested seat.

    The Republicans seem to be lining up behind Michael Venditto, a Nassau County legislator from Massapequa since 2012. There's information about his background here. There was speculation Assemb. Joseph Saladino would run, but the party has backed Venditto.

    The Democrats in the race are another Nassau County legislator, Dave Denenberg, and Freeport Deputy Mayor and Village Trustee Carmen Piñeyro. The party seems to be lining up behind Denenberg, but Piñeyro hasn't said if she will drop out. He has more money than she does, $103,000 to $3,300, for what it's worth, and all of that can be used for the state senate race, but he also has an electoral legal problem, as I learned here.

    A little background on the district, from Newsday:

    The Nassau portion of the 8th Senate District has 63,686 registered Democrats and 65,615 Republicans, according to state Board of Elections records. The Suffolk section has 20,472 Democrats and 11,829 Republicans.
    Also from Newsday:
    State Sen. Lee Zeldin (R-Shirley) is planning to vacate his seat as he seeks the GOP nomination to challenge Rep. Tim Bishop (D-Southampton). Democrats are also expected to mount aggressive campaigns against Sen. Kemp Hannon (R-Garden City) and Sen. Jack Martins (R-Mineola).
    I'm not sure if Zeldin can slide back into the state senate race if Demos beats him. Former state Assemblyman Dean Murray might run for Zeldin's seat, while the Democratic candidate might be state Assemblyman Edward Hennessey, as Suffolk County Legislator Kate Browning (D-Mastic) "has said publicly she has no interest in moving to Albany." Either way, I imagine his district will be contested.

    Republicans control all nine of the senate senate seats from Long Island.

    The current make up, with the two vacancies, is 29 Republicans, 27 Democrats (including Simcha Felder), and 5 Buttheads IDCers.

    I assume we'll keep Eric Adams' old seat. That brings us to 28. If we win the other two seats currently occupied, that brings us to 30. If we also win Fuschillo's seat, currently vacant, that brings us to 31. But it's more like 30, since Felder caucuses with the Republicans. But that means we're down by two.

    I'd ask Taget, who has a much better handle on this stuff than I do, who else we might target in order to get full control of the Senate, Felcher and the IDCers be damned.

    While winning all of these four Long Island senate districts might be hard, it probably isn't impossible. Even if we just win two of the seats, that's pretty good progress.

    "Once, at a formal dinner, when [a rich] guest complained about the cost of welfare programs for the poor, Buffett replied tartly, 'I'm a lot more concerned about welfare for the rich.'"--from a book on Warren Buffett

    by bjssp on Mon Mar 17, 2014 at 11:10:54 AM PDT

    •  Nice to hear commentary on your local politics (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      bjssp

      “The universe is big. It’s vast and complicated and ridiculous. And sometimes, very rarely, impossible things just happen and we call them miracles.” -The Doctor

      by KingofSpades on Mon Mar 17, 2014 at 11:26:29 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  I'm trying to dive back in (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        gabjoh

        to various things, local politics being one of them. I'd like to add a little more value to the board rather than my usual spat of boob jokes, celebrity gossip, and comments on unintentionally and kind of depressingly hilarious Republican outreach to minority groups, you know? :]

        "Once, at a formal dinner, when [a rich] guest complained about the cost of welfare programs for the poor, Buffett replied tartly, 'I'm a lot more concerned about welfare for the rich.'"--from a book on Warren Buffett

        by bjssp on Mon Mar 17, 2014 at 11:33:51 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

    •  SD-40 is a definite target. (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      bjssp, KingofSpades, GoUBears

      Greg Ball is considering running for Putnam County Executive, which would leave it open and vulnerable.

      And it's Cuomo's home district, so hopefully his desire for a republican controlled senate doesn't outweigh a need to decisively win his residence in northern Westchester versus Asterino.

    •  Betty Little (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Skaje, Jacob1145

      She's in her 70's, my guess is it's an Obama district, and we didn't even challenge her in 2010.  It's SD-45.  5 of the 6 counties in her District went for Obama, I'm guessing it was like a 55-45 Obama district in 2012.

      Hugh Farley in SD-49 is another target.  he's probably unbeatable, but he's in his 80's and pretty sure it's gotta be close to a swing district (all the big counties are split and I'm not that interested in digging for the precinct splits lol).  The scary thing about this is his son is waiting in the wings who served for close to 20 years on Schenectady country legislature.  If we don't beat Dad outright, he could retire and his son could probably waltz right into that seat.  (Note Schencatdy county is about half the votes for this district, it went 57-41 for Obama in 2012).

      Marchione in SD-43 is probably a target, but only with a really strong Dem and that Dem will need to get the Indy line...

      I know people blame Cuomo for all things in the NY Senate, but so long as Little runs un-opposed and Farley gets lame opponents, we probably don't stand much hope of the Senate.  I'd expect 1 out of every 2 new downstaters who win to become IDC anyways.

      "What if you're on a game show one day and the name of some random New Jersey state senator is the only thing between you and several thousand dollars? And you'll think to yourself, "if only I had clapped faster." - sapelcovits

      by rdw72777 on Mon Mar 17, 2014 at 12:05:19 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  All the districts by Obama-Romney (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Jacob1145

        are here.

        SD-45 (Little) went 56-42% for Obama.  Little herself is probably unbeatable, but this will be tough for the GOP to hold when she's gone.  The GOP majority really does depend on incumbency.

        SD-49 (Farley) went 51.1%-46.9% for Obama.  Also probably out of reach until he retires.

        SD-43 (Marchione) went 52.9%-45.2% for Obama.  Considered putting this on the target list, but I dunno.  There was a three-way split with the previous GOP incumbent getting primaried out, but still remaining on the Independent line and getting 16%, but we couldn't capitalize and still lost by 10 points to Marchione.

        Also, SD-56 (Robach) is incredibly blue and went for Obama 60%-38%...it's basically as blue as Louise Slaughter's congressional district.  But we didn't even try to challenge him in 2012.

        It's notable just how overexposed Republicans are in New York, and with two-year terms they will always be at risk in the next Dem wave year.  And once their incumbents start falling, they'll never get those seats back.

        •  I'd say GOP holds them all upon retirement (0+ / 0-)

          Betty Little's successor is going to be Dan Stec, currently the GOP assemblyman in territory over-lapping her SD.  Farley's son would probably take his seat.  Marchione is probably the most beatable, but if she retired I think maybe a better GOPer would run in her place.

          I think people waiting for retirements will be vey disappointed in these areas...we're going to have to beat people outright.  Then again, with Little being in her 70's and Farley in his 80's, the "waiting for retirement" game has been proven a poor gamble anyways :-).

          "What if you're on a game show one day and the name of some random New Jersey state senator is the only thing between you and several thousand dollars? And you'll think to yourself, "if only I had clapped faster." - sapelcovits

          by rdw72777 on Mon Mar 17, 2014 at 12:28:40 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  The GOP may be favored (2+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            bjssp, James Allen

            with their replacement candidates, but I don't see how our chances are any worse in open seats than they already are now against long-term incumbents.

            Still, our best opportunities may indeed lie elsewhere.  The fact is only like half the GOP majority is built on safe seats.  All it takes is a few at the edges and it's over.  And I don't see how the GOP gets to gerrymander the state senate again in the next round of redistricting, short of 2020 being some GOP wave year that gives them the senate again.

            •  Maybe we don't get worse (0+ / 0-)

              But Stec is probably better than Little, Farley = Farley and I think Marchione is not a great fit for a Saratoga-Rensselaer district.  Maybe we improve our chances a little, but today we're at 0% in 45 and 49 and Stec and Farley (the son) might give us 10% chances at victory.

              "What if you're on a game show one day and the name of some random New Jersey state senator is the only thing between you and several thousand dollars? And you'll think to yourself, "if only I had clapped faster." - sapelcovits

              by rdw72777 on Mon Mar 17, 2014 at 01:00:31 PM PDT

              [ Parent ]

            •  Strongly favored (1+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              Skaje

              Stec is better than little, Farley (son) probably is about equal to Farley (father) and Marchione I don't think is a great fit for a Saratoga-Rensselaer based district today, never mind in the future.  (McDonald was definitel a better fit for the district overall obviosuly)

              "What if you're on a game show one day and the name of some random New Jersey state senator is the only thing between you and several thousand dollars? And you'll think to yourself, "if only I had clapped faster." - sapelcovits

              by rdw72777 on Mon Mar 17, 2014 at 01:05:29 PM PDT

              [ Parent ]

              •  Whoops double post (0+ / 0-)

                Got an ugly error but I see the first post finally showed up :-)

                "What if you're on a game show one day and the name of some random New Jersey state senator is the only thing between you and several thousand dollars? And you'll think to yourself, "if only I had clapped faster." - sapelcovits

                by rdw72777 on Mon Mar 17, 2014 at 01:07:13 PM PDT

                [ Parent ]

        •  My lack of (0+ / 0-)

          direct campaign experience must be making it hard for me to realize how hard this stuff really is, because with your numbers, the path forward seems kind of easy, at least in theory. We're not talking about covering the whole state, but a few districts that aren't that big, even if they aren't densely populated. Even if it takes a few cycles, start the process of leaving no stone unturned when it comes to getting people to vote for our guys. If they are more or less living on borrowed time, we'll eventually beat them.

          "Once, at a formal dinner, when [a rich] guest complained about the cost of welfare programs for the poor, Buffett replied tartly, 'I'm a lot more concerned about welfare for the rich.'"--from a book on Warren Buffett

          by bjssp on Mon Mar 17, 2014 at 12:41:48 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  23 of the 30 Republicans (4+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            bjssp, Jacob1145, James Allen, gabjoh

            are in seats Obama won.  At some point that just won't be sustainable anymore.  It took gerrymandering wizardry and a breakaway group of Democrats to give them a couple more sessions in the majority, but it's incredibly precarious.  At some point, you just can't force a state that gives 30-point margins to Democrats to still have a GOP state senate.

            •  Your reasoning is why (0+ / 0-)

              I said what I said just above. The path forward seems kind of easy, even if the end result might not achieved right away. Even if it's not entirely cohesive and/or there are turf wars, it's not like the party is really struggling for prominence. The districts aren't as small as those in the New Hampshire legislature, but they aren't THAT big. You're not talking about contacting 500,000 people and getting 60 percent of them to the polls. Maybe a tenth of that, really. And since we're talking about state legislative elections rather than federal ones, I'd figure it's more of a ground game thing, anyway. Start knocking on some doors, promising to drive people to the polls, and so on. One by one by one, we can tack on voters to our totals and get this done.

              If only, it seems...

              "Once, at a formal dinner, when [a rich] guest complained about the cost of welfare programs for the poor, Buffett replied tartly, 'I'm a lot more concerned about welfare for the rich.'"--from a book on Warren Buffett

              by bjssp on Mon Mar 17, 2014 at 01:06:56 PM PDT

              [ Parent ]

      •  Why so many IDCers in your mind? (0+ / 0-)

        "Once, at a formal dinner, when [a rich] guest complained about the cost of welfare programs for the poor, Buffett replied tartly, 'I'm a lot more concerned about welfare for the rich.'"--from a book on Warren Buffett

        by bjssp on Mon Mar 17, 2014 at 12:36:14 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  Human nature (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          bjssp

          I have the chance to grab power immediately or wait and work my way up.  It's not like they are elected to serve the interests of voters.

          "What if you're on a game show one day and the name of some random New Jersey state senator is the only thing between you and several thousand dollars? And you'll think to yourself, "if only I had clapped faster." - sapelcovits

          by rdw72777 on Mon Mar 17, 2014 at 12:58:36 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

    •  I attempted a rundown a while back (6+ / 0-)

      here.

      Upon revising my list, I got this, but I of course welcome further corrections from those more knowledgeable about NY politics.  From my admittedly limited perspective, it looks like the GOP/IDC will be hard-pressed to save their majority this fall.

      Offense

      SD-08 (open by Fuschillo): The bluest seat on Long Island (Obama-Romney 55.7%-43.3%) and it's open?  Democrats absolutely must win this seat to have a chance at a majority.

      SD-03 (open by Zeldin): Second bluest seat on Long Island (Obama won it 55.4%-43.4%) and also open unless Zeldin drops back down from his congressional race.

      SD-07 (Martins): Obama won it 53.8%-45.2%.  Martins has only barely won twice in a row.

      SD-06 (Hannon): Obama won it 54.7%-44.3%.  Despite being a 40-year veteran, Hannon almost lost in 2012.  Third bluest on Long Island.

      SD-40 (Ball): Obama only won it 50.6%-48.1%, the smallest margin for a seat on the target list, but Ball has only won by tiny margins both times, and now he's considering jumping ship to another office.

      SD-39 (Larkin): Obama won it 52.7%-46%.  Larkin only won by 5 points in 2012.  He's 86 years old and has to be a strong retirement possibility.

      SD-04 (Boyle): Obama won it 52.9%-45.9%.  Boyle held this open seat in 2012 by a 6 point margin.  Could be competitive again.

      SD-22 (Golden): Obama won it 51.9%-46.8%.  Golden won easily in 2012 but he could still face a tough challenge.

      SD-60 (Grisanti): Obama won it 56%-42%.  Convenient redistricting saved him from his former 70%+ Obama seat that he won in a fluke, but he still sits in a pretty blue seat.  I don't know if he will be challenged strongly, but he should.

      SD-34 (Klein): Obama won it 74-25%.  Oliver Koppell may potentially primary out the IDC leader, which is functionally a pickup.

      SD-11 (Avella): Obama won it 64-35%.  Avella recently joined the IDC/GOP, and may not be entrenched enough to avoid a primary challenge.

      Defense

      SD-41 (Gipson): Obama won it 53.3%-45%.  We only snagged this because the Conservative Party siphoned 14% from the previous GOP incumbent's totals.  Could be a tough one, but hopefully the district is blue enough to keep Gipson.

      SD-46 (Tkaczyk): Obama won it 53.6%-44.3%.  We won this open seat by just 18 votes after a recount.  A tough win, but hopefully an easier hold.

      •  Thanks for the link. (0+ / 0-)

        If you figure that Democrats aren't maxed out on LI, since the area is never contested at the presidential level, you could believe, like I do, that the voters are there to cobble together a coalition to beat some of these guys.

        "Once, at a formal dinner, when [a rich] guest complained about the cost of welfare programs for the poor, Buffett replied tartly, 'I'm a lot more concerned about welfare for the rich.'"--from a book on Warren Buffett

        by bjssp on Mon Mar 17, 2014 at 12:51:39 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  Long Island is ripe for the taking (7+ / 0-)

          Republicans might have arguably dummymandered Long Island by taking two counties, both won by Obama, and trying to carve it up so they could win all 9 seats within.  I know why they did it, as historically they've had an iron grip there, and the 2010 GOP wave washed out the only Dem advances.  And the Long Island gerrymander held up in 2012.  But it was just barely, as they almost lost 3 seats.  Now with a couple retirements adding to their woes, they face difficult holds on 5 of their 9 Long Island seats.

          A more forward-thinking gerrymander might have conceded Democrats a vote sink, or maybe even two to protect the rest.  But with such a narrow grip on the chamber, they couldn't afford to do that either (and obviously they'd have to toss an incumbent overboard to do that).

          I don't envy the NY senate Republicans right now.  They're stuck collaborating with a few Democrats for control, will never see their party win statewide office (or the Assembly) again, have much more defense than offense, and seem to exist mainly to continue their existence rather than push conservative policies or do anything meaningful.

          •  If you compare the total number of votes (0+ / 0-)

            cast in 2008 compared to 2012, it seems like turnout was down by a decent amount, or at least voting in the state legislative races was.

            http://www.elections.ny.gov/...

            http://www.elections.ny.gov/...

            "Once, at a formal dinner, when [a rich] guest complained about the cost of welfare programs for the poor, Buffett replied tartly, 'I'm a lot more concerned about welfare for the rich.'"--from a book on Warren Buffett

            by bjssp on Mon Mar 17, 2014 at 01:36:29 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

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